Blue skies and hot sun. Glorious weather for a festival? If you are working at a festival it can be an extra challenge for the health and safety for all involved. Dehydration is one of the biggest dangers facing all festival goers and security staff in particular. Several staff at the recent IOW Festival had to seek medical attention were put on saline drips even though they thought they were keeping their fluid levels as high as possible.
The human body is about two thirds water and when water levels dip below that level then dehydration occurs. The symptoms include dry mouth, lips and eyes, clammy hands and feet, headaches, dizziness and confusion and your urine turns dark and has a strong smell. Dehydration also makes sunstroke more likely. Left untreated dehydration can be fatal.
Coke and other fizzy drinks may be good for sugar intake but they are also a diruretic – that means they make you urinate more so you are losing even more fluid. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee as they are also diruretics and remember energy drinks like Red Bull are to be avoided as they are packed with caffeine.
Festivals can be bad for your health. Take full advantage of the water stations and the NHS also recommends diluted squash, diluted fruit juice and or/semi-skimmed milk.
Be aware and keep yourself safe.
Ticket touting, scams and cons have been around for many years. You’ve probably seen them standing outside festivals, sports stadiums and concert venues. Many involved in this business portray themselves as a bit of a cheeky chappy but an honest hard working bloke. They try to justify their trade by saying that the re-sale of tickets is not yet illegal and claim that their actions don’t affect anyone in the long run.
This cannot be further from the truth. An article was release last week highlighting some very interesting facts; if the average tout sold 10 tickets a week with a 59% mark up they could earn £28,000 per year. Leeds and Reading festival two years back saw a record 5,000 people duped into buying fake festival tickets, that’s 3% of attendees that year and approx £1 million in losses assuming all tickets were sold at face value. Reports have placed the swindled population at 30,000 in 2009 that makes the fraudulent ticket industry worth in excess of £4 million per annum.
Operations carried out at some of the UK’s largest festivals that same year showed a dramatic reduction in crime once the touting outfits surrounding the events were removed. In one case, once the touting teams had been removed from the event, incidents of organized crime i.e. theft from tents, vehicles and the availability of drugs at the event plummeted compared to previous years. Many of these touts were known to the Police and had outstanding warrants for arrest.
Touts usually operate in teams, using cheap pay as you go mobile phones for communication. These teams are highly organized and don’t just limit themselves to the re-sale of tickets and bootleg merchandise. These teams travel from event to event throughout the year targeting those that they believe will be most profitable and or vulnerable to their tactics. Untraceable hire cars, aliases and remaining totally mobile are all tactics that help the teams evade the long arm of the law.
Now with the World Cup and the 2012 Olympics around the corner there are major fears that victims worldwide will easily pass the million mark. Already the UK has seen one male being ordered to payback £300,000 for the unauthorised sale of tickets to Barclays Premier League football matches and 2 arrested on suspicion of fraud by selling costly world cup tickets and packages before telling customers they had regrettably gone bust. Packages to the world cup ranged between £1750 for the budget package and £3800 to watch the final, these packages include flights and accommodation at a 3* hotel. Being stuck in South Africa without game tickets and accommodation will leave you thousands of pounds out of pocket and thousands of miles away from home.
Many large organizations have actively come out to warn the public of the threats they face advising them on how to avoid these pitfalls others have developed web based applications to help monitor the risk:
Keep an eye on http://blog.trendmicro.com/ a very good blog site with coverage on the World Cup ticket situation.
The day might not have been great for Portsmouth Football Club, but the fans enjoyed the day out, David James enjoyed cementing his place as England’s number one and Vespasian enjoyed running the event on Southsea Common.
All the measures agreed on during the planning stages worked very well, the search lanes carried out effective searches and our internal and external response teams provided presence which ensured that the event site was alcohol and incident free, we couldn’t have really asked for more.
Now we would be lying if we said that we had the perfect crowd; one which didn’t have a minority of attendees who inevitably felt that obnoxious behaviour was the acceptable norm, unfortunately we did and unfortunately this is a culture that goes hand in hand with some football followers.
Vespasian, the council events team, and Hampshire Constabulary all felt this was unacceptable behavior and our response team’s presence stopped this early on… although we must also give credit to Chelsea FC as their dominance dampened the crowd slightly.
All in all the day was a success, the council events teams were very happy with the performance of the Vespasian staff over the three days and the police were pleased with the way the event was run. Another successful outing for Vespasian and were already looking forward to Portsmouth FC’s cup run next year.
Now last time I did promise to post pictures and video from the event, but time was against me and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to. However Ipromise the next major/interesting job I go to the post will be jam packed with good stuff! Promise.